Bryony SymesSee other Blog articles filed in ‘Travel and touring’ written by Bryony Symes
Our yearly Reader Rally in the peaceful North Devon countryside saw 300 of you lovely readers joining us for the (mostly) sunny bank holiday weekend.
On arrival at Stowford Farm Meadows for our 2014 Reader Rally, everyone was handed a goodie bag, with the bag itself supplied by Whale. These included Cassette Tank Cleaner from Thetford and Mornflake cereal tubs. The latter proved popular as a portable breakfast, with the choice of Fruit and Nut Muesli, Sultana and Apple Oatbran, or Raisin, Honey and Almond Granola. We kicked off the weekend with a quiz on the Friday night, put together by the ads team, with the 'Woosie Plebs' winning top prize. A great start to our caravan holiday in Devon.
The weather was kind to us – and we certainly made of the most of it! With the sun shining on Saturday, the kids used up some energy playing five-a-side football, while the ever-popular face painting produced butterflies and tigers in the marquee. The dog show saw numerous well-behaved dogs scrutinised and put through their paces, before Bramble took the overall prize. And the dog show class and overall winners received some great prizes, with Road Refresher bowls and Dicky Bags dog waste bags keeping both humans and hounds happy.
We enjoyed a game or two of bingo in the afternoon, a tasty barbecue served by our band of helpers in chef hats and aprons, followed by a lively barn dance in the evening.
Sunday's Q&A session was no less energetic, with caravan expert John Wickersham sharing his knowledge, while the sports day got underway.
The sports day fun, run by our enthusiastic ads team, included an egg and spoon race, Aquaroll racing and a tug of war. There were colourful prizes for the kids, and the winners of the four Aquaroll races won an Aquaroll each from FL Hitchman.
As we all know, caravan holidays in Devon must feature cream teas – Practical Caravan's Reader Rally did not disappoint. The sunny Sunday afternoon was perfect for enjoying traditional Devon cream teas which the team served in the marquee, accompanied by a lively brass band, with a couple of jigs from the morris dancers to boot. Then as people relaxed in the sunshine, the raffle got underway with some great prizes to be won.
This year's raffle on Sunday afternoon saw some 1000 raffle tickets sold – raising £1000 – with all of the money being donated to The Garden House Hospice in Letchworth, in memory of the late Doug King. It was so popular that we ran out of tickets for the first time ever!
The grand raffle prize was an Mover XT from Truma, won by Mr L Burton and presented by Truma's MD, Martin Fitzpatrick.
We also had a pair of tickets to the Foodies Festival in Tatton Park, Battle Proms concert tickets and a very cosy Craghoppers men's parka up for grabs. Other prizes included a Serenity Grande double sleeping bag from Vango, Milenco Stacka Feet, caravan and motorhome cleaning products from Chemicals Direct, a Keela high-tech t-shirt, Teko socks, a France Passion guide and membership, a laser tyre safety kit, Turtle Wax, an Ol Pro melamine set and Dometic gas level checkers.
The Reader Rally whole weekend was rounded off with a disco and bank holiday Monday morning saw everyone packing up and sadly waving goodbye to Stowford Farm Meadows after another brilliant caravan holiday in Devon.
We had a lovely weekend in beautiful North Devon, and we are glad that you were able to share it with us. See you again next year!